Information Technology Systems and Services.


Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students

January 4-5 ITSS Planned Data Center Outage

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A new Nexus switch will be installed; VCASSL and eGradebook2 will be virtualized; and the Department Directory will be migrated during this outage.

Action Items and Service Impacts

The following describes action items planned for the January 4-5 data center outage as well as their potential impacts. Although we will try to minimize the impacts, we recommend you make arrangements beforehand to prepare for the unexpected.

Please notice the list is subject to change. The ITSS Web site and the UMD TechCenter Facebook site are some resources for more up-to-date information.

New Nexus Switch Installation

The new Nexus switches and additional 10 Gig fabric extenders will provide more bandwidth for our data center. Careful planning has gone into our Nexus project and minimal impact to services is expected. Our teams have developed a list of devices that will experience brief service outages as they are moved to the new Nexus switches. Nexus work will begin at 12:30 P.M. on January 4th and be completed later that day.

VCASSL and eGradebook2 Virtualization

The VCASSL is the server running applications for Student Life, including Admissions, Students In Transition, Office of Cultural Diversity, Office of Disability Resources, etc. eGradebook2 is the server supporting the UMD eGradebook. We plan to virtualize the two servers to harness the benefits provided by our virtualization infrastructure, such as lower cost and more robust computing environment. Another purpose is to avoid potential hardware failure. A single server virtualization process will take about one to two hours depending on the data size. The servers will be inaccessible completely during the virtualization process.

Department Directory Migration

The Department Directory will be migrated as a result of an old server retirement. During the migration, the campus directory update function will be disabled. The page will still be online for browsing. The entire migration process will take about four hours. After the migration is done, ITSS will send out an update notice. If you have a web page that links to this directory, please be aware that the URL for the directory will change, so you must update your links.

Office of Information Technology Twin Cities Outage

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) for the Twin Cities Campus also has a maintenance outage scheduled for January 4-5. The annual primary data center maintenance outage is set for 6 a.m. Saturday, January 4, 2014 with restoration beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday, January 5, 2014. It is expected that all affected services will be restored by noon Sunday.

The outage is required in order to perform necessary maintenance, testing, and repairs to facility infrastructure, and involves a complete shutdown of the main data center, resulting in interruption to IT services during that time.

As determined by consensus of the IT community, the first full weekend in January following the New Year's holiday was established as the regular maintenance shutdown weekend each year going forward. The work is being planned through coordinated efforts with the Information Technology Change Approval Board.

A complete list of affected services is being prepared, and will be shared with the University community as soon as it is available. Regular updates also will be shared via email, website posts and various other news outlets, as they become available. We ask for your assistance in sharing this preliminary notification with your colleges, departments and/or administrative units. Updates also will be available on the Data Center Operations Services website, and on the University's system status page, and on social media outlets Twitter @UMN_IT and the University of Minnesota Information Technology Facebook page during the service interruption period.

Questions and concerns for the Twin Cities outage should be directed to Data Center Operations Services service owner, Joe Zanmiller, at

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